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8 Guards Hurt in N.M. Prison Riot

November 11, 2000

ESTANCIA, N.M. (AP) _ Eight guards were injured, two critically, during a prison uprising early Saturday in which 32 inmates took corrections officers hostage, authorities said.

The riot, which began around 12:30 a.m., was quelled in about two hours after an emergency response team employed tear gas, State Police Lt. Gary Smith said.

None of the inmates was injured in the fighting, Smith said.

The uprising at the privately run Torrance County Detention Facility began after inmates refused to go to their cells for the night, Smith said. Inmates beat and stabbed guards with parts of torn-up furniture from their cells, he said.

Authorities said they did not know what triggered the riot.

Two guards stabbed during the disturbance were in critical condition, and five other guards were in stable condition. One guard was treated on the scene for minor injuries.

The prison, which is about 40 miles east of Albuquerque, is operated by Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America. It has been the site of several disturbances in recent years.

In August 1999, a fight during an inmate softball game left five prisoners and two guards injured. In 1998, one inmate was fatally stabbed, and other disturbances injured seven inmates and five guards.

Officials from Corrections Corporation did not answer telephones at two New Mexico offices early Saturday.

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